Google Chrome 70 security feature will axe trust for hundreds of critical websites

Hundreds of popular websites remain unprepared for the next major Google Chrome browser update, which brings users an important security boost.

Chrome 70, which is expected to arrive next week, will cease trusting older Symantec HTTPS certificates (pre-June 2016), meaning sites using them will no longer be supported by the browser.

According to security researcher Scott Helme (via TechCrunch), 1,139 in the top 1 million sites ranked by Alexa are still running on the old certificate. Those include the likes of Citrus, SSRN, the Federal Bank of India, Pantone, the Tel-Aviv city government, Squatty Potty and Penn State Federal.

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While users will still be able to load these sites (which have had over a year’s notice to get this sorted) using the Chrome 70 browser, there’ll be a lot of pop-up warnings to contend with until these sites update their HTTPS certificates.

This new feature will provide a boost to web users seeking peace of mind as pertains to their web activity. HTTPS certificates give web visitors the knowledge have not been compromised by attackers, while also making it exceptionally difficult to intercept user data.

Symantec is one of those certificate authorities that grant HTTPS certificates to websites, which are then trusted by the major web browsers. In Symantec’s case, Google lost a little trust after it accused the company of issuing certificates without proper oversight.

In a blog post in September, Google said an investigation into Symantec revealed the company “had entrusted several organizations with the ability to issue certificates without the appropriate or necessary oversight, and had been aware of security deficiencies at these organizations for some time.”

The company said this was the last in a pattern of issues “over the past several years that has caused the Chrome team to lose confidence in the trustworthiness of Symantec’s infrastructure, and as a result, the certificates that have been or will be issued from it.”

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